Last night I was fortunate to have dinner with my friend and his parents. Just like him, his mom and dad are wonderful people. I have been lucky enough to meet his mother before, but this was the first time I met his father. He is a quiet man with a sweet sense of humor...he cooked us all a delicious meal. The evening was filled with reminiscing, story telling and lots of laughter. It all got me to thinking about my father.
Growing up my Dad and I did not have a lot in common. He was a former quarterback who owned an asphalt company and loved to deer hunt. I am a fashion designer who can't catch a ball and looks horrible in orange. On paper we shouldn't have gotten along...but we did. We just accepted each other and laughed...a lot.
Funny enough, as the years went on, we did find something to "bond" over. Don't guess...you'll never get it... musical theatre. Thats right, the grease monkey and dress maker came together thanks to Andrew Loyd Weber.
When I was in college my parents came to see me in Minneapolis. I had scored tickets for the national touring company of "Evita". I thought Mom would love it and Dad could sleep peacefully for a couple of hours. A few days later Mom called and asked if I had the "soundtrack" to the show. I said yes and was happy she liked it....she informed me it wasn't for her, but rather my father. Apparently for the last week he had strung together all the choruses of the show and made one big song...it was driving Mom crazy. I still smile at the thought him working in his shop, knee deep in oil and spark plugs, belting out a rousing rendition of "Don't Cry For Me Buenos Aries On This Rainbow High Tour".
Eleven years ago this April, Mom and Dad came to see me Atlanta. I took them to see "Damn Yankees". At intermission my father said, "You didn't say this was about baseball?!?!" I asked what he thought he thought he was seeing, "I don't know, we are in South...I figure it was the Civil War."
The next day I was showing my Mom a project I was working on. Dad sat down and picked up the sketches and fabric swatches and began to study them. Eventually he looked up at me and said, "Jas... I'll be honest, I don't know what I'm looking at, but I know it's really good." That weekend was the last time I saw Dad...he died a few days later.
Though I miss my father, I feel his spirit still with me. Whether I am spending time laughing with friends over a home cooked meal, seeing a new musical spectacular or sketching out a fab idea, I feel Dad is with me; Quietly, happily, and proudly.
I dedicate these sketches to dad. A velvet tuxedo trimmed in satin and a beaded chiffon fishtail gown. Like my father, they are elegant and simple while still exciting and unexpected. Here's to you Dad....I love you.